The House of Representatives has appealed to the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria(JUSUN) to call off their industrial action, which has paralyzed activities in courts, across the country.
Members of the House Committee on Judiciary made the appeal at a meeting with JUSUN leadership, on Wednesday, in Abuja.
The lawmakers, while noting that the strike is not in the interest the country, urged the judicial workers to at least call off the strike at the federal level, especially as the Federal Government has complied with their demands.
The chairman of the Committee, Onofiok Luke, noted that the House is committed to the welfare of workers in and would anything it can to provide a better working for staff of the judiciary across the country.
Luke stated that “Our stand has always been for workers welfare for the workers of the judiciary and for judicial officers and we would not renege on that responsibility.
“I want to welcome you and sit back and listen to you speak to us on your challenges and what we can do as a house and as a legislature to try to see how we can come to a common ground so that we can return to work.
“The correctional centres are congested right now. It is a source of worry because of the strike because courts are not operating. Our police stations and police cells are overcrowded and it should not be in this time of pandemic.”
However, the Deputy National President, JUSUN, Comrade Emmanuel Abioye, who led the delegation, in his response, accused the government of showing disdain for the rule of law.
Abioye, while describing the strike as avoidable, said their grouse is the fragrant disregard for 1999 Constitution, which provides for financial autonomy for the judiciary.
“We don’t know why it is difficult to implement the financial autonomy of the judiciary as guaranteed by section 121 subsection 3 of the Nigerian constitution 1999 (as amended); Section 81 sub 3 of the same constitution and section 162 sub 9 of the constitution.
“The judiciary has been known and tagged as the hope of the common man. If the judiciary is not free and it does not have hope, it cannot give hope to anybody.
“So, our agitation is not only for us alone but for things to be done properly, as it is supposed to be,” the labour leader stated.